As an entrepreneur or even an aspiring one, you should always be on the lookout for opportunities to sharpen or develop your entrepreneurial skills. Here are 10 you should check out.
1. Financial Management
Why: How rigid are you when handling your business’s resources and investments? Lest you run the risk of operating a glorified hobby instead of a business, best know your numbers.
Learn the basics and terms in order to understand financial management on the Free Management Library website. The site contains hand-selected material, which you can also use to educate your employees, and they can learn at their own pace.
Where: Accountingcoach.com and freebookkeepingaccounting.com
Why: Your business should not be at the mercy of your accountant, even though he does your taxes. Even when delegating, you should know the ins and outs of your business, too. There’s no need to dip into your business account for financial literacy if you can get free online courses. The two sites should help you master bookkeeping.
Other than learning how to manage your money, you’ll be educated on tracking your income and expenses. At the end of the course you’ll be able to read financial reports, which will aid in the smooth-running of your business. In addition, with this information, you’re able to ask your accountant the right questions.
Why: You need to stand out from your competitors to be noticed. Therefore, building and managing your brand will go a long way to ensure that you are a customer’s first choice. Branding isn’t just about business logos.
It creates and maintains your reputation, reflects your business’s core values and your customers’ experience, too. Coursesity.com offers a lot of courses on branding. Branding 101, Understanding Branding Basics, is one of their best as it’s easy to understand. It’s also free.
4. Time management and productivity
Why: Most of us have a tendency to procrastinate and there are instances that call for working smarter, not harder. Through classcentral.com, you learn how to identify and overcome barriers that hinder your productivity. Setting goals, delegation, prioritisation and scheduling of duties will become easier once you learn time management.
The four-week Time Management for Personal & Professional Productivity course is short and easy. It is also free of charge, but you have to pay for the certificate, if you want one.
5. Intellectual curiosity
Why: Curiosity leads to acquisition of knowledge. Intellectual curiosity allows you to learn for the sake of it, not because there’s a test to be taken. As an entrepreneur, always have the desire to learn new things. Intellectual curiosity helps you think like a consumer and solve problems. Also, you’re prone to build lasting relationships with your clients if you’re inquisitive.
Markets shift, especially in an unstable economy, but if you’re curious enough, you’ll want to learn how to cushion yourself against this as it’ll affect your business. If you want to develop an inquisitive nature, get started on curios.com. The site teaches you how to grow your curious quotient and sharpen your mind’s practical and creative centres.
6. Leadership and motivation
Why: As your business grows, you’ll require more manpower, therefore you should be ready. Are you able to motivate those who work for you and clearly convey your company’s vision? The Oxford Home Study Centre offers free online leadership courses by seasoned industry veterans.
Topics you’ll cover include, influence strategies, building trust, consequential thinking, managers V leaders, managing performance and understanding your comfort zone.
Why: Building relationships between your consumers, suppliers and peers, leads to the success of your business. Partnership deals and business opportunities are easier to come by the more you broaden your network. Put in the work and learn how to, through networking, build your network and personal brand in the real world and online. learndigital.withgoogle.com offers you a free beginner class with tutorials, tips and assessments. You’ll learn how to develop interpersonal skills, overcome barriers, gain confidence, know your strengths and analyse your networks. Besides this course, you will find other useful courses on the site.
8. Social media strategy
Why: This has become a business necessity. A few years back, social platforms were avenues of additional sales. More and more businesses are operating online, exclusively, as consumers are flooding the digital space. Learn how to engage your customers on social media, since they provide instant feedback on the platforms.
Social media channels also help you keep abreast of key industry conversations and shifts in the market. Additionally, they will greatly enhance your business reach. Alison.com’s free social media marketing course will teach you how to make a social media plan that’ll increase your business’s revenue and grow your customer base.
Why: Most successful business owners have either been on the brink of bankruptcy or have failed on their first try. If you fail at your first go, you become frustrated and this might shatter your confidence. Steadfastness is the difference between success and failure - JK Rowling was rejected by 12 publishers before Bloomsbury Publishing accepted the manuscript for her first book.
There are websites and blogs, such as chaseyourgoals.com, that give you steps on how to build perseverance for a successful business. In the face of challenges and hardships, you can find ways to move forward and the lessons you’ll learn here will make all the difference in your entrepreneurial journey.
Why: This skill forms the core of every business as you use language and nonverbal communication every day. Business writing, communicating your ideas effectively and active listening will ensure your success. You should know how to conduct effective meetings and document, and follow-up, on conversations. The best practices for face-to-face, written, mediated and digital communication should also be at your fingertips.
If not, Udemy offers you lessons on building rapport, public speaking, fundamentals of dealing with difficult people, developing good speech habits, and many more. The free course gives you access to captivating video content, but if you’re interested in a one-on-one conversation with an instructor, and certification, you have to pay.